Tuesday 30 November 2010

In Memoriam

I was away when Irwin Kershner and Leslie Nielsen passed away but judging by the coverage on the web and on twitter there's already been enough said about both men without me having to add much more. I have to admit I, like so many, will remember Kerschner mainly for being the director of the best Star Wars movie. His other credits included RoboCop 2 and Never Say Never Again. However, while Neilsen's death warranted a surfeit of hugely affectionate "Surely you can't be serious..." gags, I like to remember him as being in one of the greatest science fiction films ever, ie. Forbidden Planet, rather than as the star of Airplane! or The Naked Gun, although I have nothing against either of those movies.

Thursday 25 November 2010

The Disney 50

Here's the promo they showed at the Disney 50 presentation on Wednesday. How many have you seen?

Wednesday 24 November 2010

One small step...

I don't care what anyone says, I cannot wait to see this. I'm a sucker for anything Apollo-related.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Ingrid Pitt, 1937-2010

Ingrid Pitt, who starred in Hammer's Vampire Lovers and Countess Dracula, has died, just days after celebrating her 73th birthday. For horror fans of a certain age, Pitt was both a sex symbol and something of an icon. Few would suggest she was one of the great actresses of her time, but she sure had presenceHere's the BBC's obit.

Tongue Tangled

Alas I am embargoed from giving you my view on Disney's latest animated feature Tangled, which I saw this morning. But I can point you in the direction of the Disney 50 at BFI Southbank which will give audiences a chance to see every Disney animated feature — of which Tangled is the 50th — on the big screen.

Beginning in January, and showing one film each weekend throughout 2011, the Disney 50 at BFI Southbank offers an amazing opportunity to see Disney's rare and little-seen animated features alongside the classics we all know and love.

Here's a little more info. A list of the Disney 50 is after the jump.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Trailer: Source Code

What needs to be said other than it's Duncan Jones' follow-up to Moon.

Friday 19 November 2010

He's the bleedin' law

The script for the Judge Dredd reboot is a cracker; Karl Urban, as previously discussed, is a smart choice for Dredd; and Olivia Thirlby, as also previously discussed, should make for a terrific Judge Anderson. And this photo, courtesy of Dredd conceptual artist Jock, shows they've got the look spot on too.

First Look Judge Dredd

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Teaser trailer: Cowboys & Aliens

Another teaser for another of NEXT summer's big releases. Have to say, I like the look of this more than I do Green Lantern from what we've seen thus far.

To see the trailer in HD click here.

Teaser trailer: Green Lantern

Friday 12 November 2010

Writers roundtable

With awards season almost upon us, The Hollywood Reporter has organised a series of roundtables featuring some of those who will no doubt be in with a shout come the eventual handing out of awards and statues. Embedded below is the writers roundtable, featuring Aaron Sorkin, Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt and others. Enjoy.

Trailer: Battle: Los Angeles

I haven't yet seen Skyline, and, given the reviews so far, I may not. But here's the trailer for the second alien invasion movie heading our way over the coming months, with The Darkest Hour set to follow next summer. Given that we've all been fooled by amazing looking trailers in the past, only to find the movies completely fail to live up to the advance hype, I'm reserving judgement for now. However, on the strength of this, I'm prepared to say that this has snuck onto my must-see list.

Click here to see the trailer.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Trailer: Jane Eyre

On Monday there was the poster, now we have a very Gothic-y looking trailer. I have to say, I'm liking this a lot.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Third Tron: Legacy trailer

I was asked today to supply my top ten films of the year. It's always a difficult call but this year it seems even tougher, not least because two of the best films I've seen recently don't come out in the UK until 2011. And that's not even taking into account that there are still seven weeks left of 2010 and I haven't seen this yet. Not long now, though.

Monday 8 November 2010

Poster: Jane Eyre

I met Mia Wasikowska a few times during the making of Alice In Wonderland and found her to be delightful. She's also a damn fine actress. Witness her opposite Gabriel Byrne in In Treatment. She's one of the reasons why I'm looking forward to Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's classic. Michael Fassbender is another. As is Fukunaga himself, whose debut feature Sin Nombre revealed him to be a filmmaker to watch.

Teaser trailer: Kung Fu Panda 2

Saw this before a press screening of Megamind yesterday and, I have to admit, I chuckled.

Megamind, incidentally, was most enjoyable. I particularly loved the Marlon Brando from Superman gag, although, again, the 3D seemed superfluous and unnecessary.

Blu-ray review: The Exorcist

The greatest film of all time according to Mark Kermode whose stellar 1998 BBC documentary, Fear Of God, is just one of the bountiful extras on this mightily impressive two-disc set. Whether you agree with him, it’s certainly one of the scariest films of all time, even if neither author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty or director William Friedkin choose to refer to it as a horror film: Friedkin calls it a story “about the mysteries of faith” while Blatty prefers a “supernatural detective film”.

The story of apple-cheeked 12-year-old Regan McNeil (Blair) possessed by a demon in the Washington suburb of Georgetown and the two priests — exorcist Father Merrin (Von Sydow) and local Jesuit psychiatrist Father Karras (Jason Miller) — who try to save her after medical science fails, The Exorcist has remained somewhat controversial because of both its subject matter and graphic depiction of the possession — crucifix masturbation, anyone. Friedkin’s documentary approach, coupled with Owen Roizman’s often handheld camera and naturalistic lighting, lends the film an authenticity that was shocking at the time and remains so even today, the stunning HD transfer doesn’t pour gloss over the film’s grainy feel. Soundwise, too, it’s impeccable. On one extra Friedkin claims the digital remastering has even made clear audio details and sound effects he didn’t remember including.

In addition to the original theatrical release, this set also contains the 2000 cut, then titled The Version You’ve Never Seen, now referred to as the Extended Director’s Cut, which reinstates around ten minutes of footage, ahem, exorcised by Friedkin just prior to release, much to Blatty’s annoyance and the source of the pair failing out for several years (included is interview footage from 1998 that still shows them arguing about interpretation and meaning). Now Friedkin has accepted Blatty point — “As I’ve got older I’ve got less arrogant” — reinstating as much of the footage as possible for Blatty, including the original “upbeat” ending and a pivotal conversation between Merrin and Karras, and calling this version the correct one.

In addition to the Fear Of God documentary, there’s almost an abundance of riches in terms of extras (although, alas, all in SD), including two Friedkin commentaries, one for each cut, plus several amazing behind-the-scene featurettes, the best being Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist which includes cinematography Roizman’s home movie footage, silent but nevertheless offering an incredible insight into how many of the key sequences were created (often using simple and mechanical effects, this being pre-CGI). There’s also a series of wonderfully dated trailers — “The movie you’ve been waiting for… without the wait,” intones one — and TV spots which reveal just how far we’ve come in film marketing.

If you’re a fan of the film this is a must purchase. For non-believers, this should be an essential part of everyone’s Blu-ray collection from now on.

* Originally published in DVD & Blu-ray Review. Screen grabs from DVDBeaver.com

Thursday 4 November 2010

The Social Network B-roll

While we wait for the inevitable extras-laden DVD/BluRay of The Social Network we have these compilations which reveal, among various delights, Josh Pence who played Tyler Winklevoss on set although his face/head was later digitally replaced by that of Armie Hammer.

Poster: The Tree Of Life

It's not much but it's all we have at the moment.

Trailer: Sucker Punch

I'm looking forward to this one for a myriad of reasons, especially having seen the footage that showed at Movie-Con in the summer. This latest trailer gives both a taste of the plot and the tone. And it's great to see Scott Glenn back on the big screen.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Great news all round

Woke up this morning to learn that that Andrew Dominik, he of the astonishing The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and Chopper, is going to be reuniting with his Jesse James star Brad Pitt, and potentially Casey Affleck, for an adaptation of George V Higgins' novel Cogan's Trade.

And if that wasn't enough, Andrew Kevin Walker, whose scripts for Se7en and 8mm (the original draft I hasten to add) I had a hand in getting Faber & Faber to publish and for which I wrote the intro and interviewed Walker, has set up Psycho Killer, a serial killer thriller that Eli Roth will produce and Panic Room producer Gavin Polone will make his directorial debut on.

Monday 1 November 2010

BIFA nominations

Here are the nominations from this year's British Independent Film Awards which take place on December 5. I have my favourites, you probably have yours, let me know in the comments.

Four Lions
The King’s Speech
Never Let Me Go

Mike Leigh – Another Year
Matthew Vaughn – Kick-Ass
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
Gareth Edwards – Monsters
Mark Romanek – Never Let Me Go

Debs Gardner Paterson – Africa United
Clio Barnard – The Arbor
Rowan Joffe – Brighton Rock
Chris Morris – Four Lions
Gareth Edwards – Monsters

Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Simon Blackwell, Christopher Morris – Four Lions
Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn – Kick-Ass
David Seidler – The King’s Speech
William Ivory – Made In Dagenham
Alex Garland – Never Let Me Go

The rest are after the jump.

Tony Scott interviewed

I've spoken to Tony Scott several times over the course of his career and always found him to be an engaging and delightful interviewee, as you can see in this video interview by The Hot Blog's David Poland. Enjoy.

First Look: Tintin

Empire (who else?) nabbed the world exclusive on Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's eagerly awaited adaptation of Herge's intrepid detective Tintin. Here's the cover. Click here for more photos.

Empire Magazine